Report: The #1 Internet Provider in America

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When it comes to choosing an internet service provider (ISP), reliability stands out as the key attribute a customer would want to consider — but there are some others to think about as well.

What about the quality of its mobile app, video streaming quality and data transfer speed?

The American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) latest report, the Telecommunications Study 2022-2023, ranks the ISPs based on how people who use the respective services feel about them.

This most recent ISP rankings are broken up into two categories:

What Internet Provider is the Best?

AT&T Fiber leads the fiber segment as well as the entire industry with an ACSI score of 80. At the other end of the spectrum, Xfinity Fiber (Comcast) is at the bottom with a score of 73.

Among non-fiber ISPs, T-Mobile is #1 with a score of 73, which represents a 3% increase compared to last year. At the opposite end of the list, Optimum (Altice USA) comes in with a 58. Additionally, a new study by J.D. Power found that fixed wireless internet is consistently outperforming fiberoptic and cable internet in customer satisfaction.

As more phone service carriers and cable companies vie for your internet dollar, money expert Clark Howard says you should play one against the other to get a better deal. “If you’re willing to go from one to the other and then maybe a year later go back to the first, that’ll help,” Clark says.

Let’s take a look at the latest ACSI rankings for fiber internet service providers, then we’ll take a look at the non-fiber internet providers.

Best Fiber Internet Providers According To Customers

Internet Provider2023 ACSI Score
AT&T Fiber80
CenturyLink Fiber (Lumen Technologies)78
Google Fiber76
All Others75
Verizon Fios75
Frontier Fiber74
Xfinity Fiber (Comcast)73
Average75

Read our review on AT&T Fiber.

Best Non-Fiber Internet Providers According To Customers

Internet Provider2023 ACSI Score
T-Mobile73
AT&T Internet72
Sparklight (Cable One)71
Kinetic by Windstream70
Xfinity (Comcast)68
All Others66
Xtream (Mediacom)65
Cox64
Spectrum (Charter Communications)64
CenturyLink (Lumen Technologies)62
Frontier Communications61
Optimum (Altice USA)58
Average66

ACSI’s Telecommunications Study 2022-2023 was conducted between April 2022 and March 2023, and is based on interviews from 22,061 customers.

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Fixed Wireless vs. Fiberoptic and Cable Internet

In April of this year, J.D. Power released a study that found customers with fixed wireless internet are consistently more satisfied than customers with fiberoptic and cable internet. 

Fixed wireless internet delivers high-speed internet to customers via nearby wireless networks owned by Mobile Network Operators such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. For this reason, fixed wireless internet is also referred to as “5G Home Internet” or “4G LTE Home Internet.” 

J.D. Power released the following graph revealing the overall customer satisfaction scores (on a 1,000-point scale) across all available forms of internet service from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

A graph from J.D. Power showing high customer satisfaction scores for 5G Home Internet followed by Fiber Cable from internet service providers AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.
Source: J.D. Power

As you can see, 5G Home Internet maintains the highest customer satisfaction from all three internet service providers by more than 20 points, which is an impressive margin according to J.D. Power. 

Fiber internet was ranked second for AT&T and Verizon. The study found that both 5G and fiber internet are highly regarded for performance and reliability, but the biggest distinguishing factor is the cost of service

Source: J.D. Power

According to J.D. Power, fixed wireless internet leads on cost-of-service by a margin of more than 60 points. 

The study concludes that fixed wireless internet maintains the highest customer satisfaction scores across all internet service providers in addition to wide availability, strong performance and reliability. For these reasons, and the significant difference in price, J.D Power believes that all signs point toward more customers making the move to fixed wireless internet as we continue to battle inflation. 

You can read the full study on J.D. Power’s website.

How To Shop for Internet Service

When it comes to getting cheap internet, there are some things you should do before signing up with a new service provider.

Explore Your Options

Depending on where you live, your options may not be limited to only AT&T or Comcast.

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T-Mobile and Verizon have jumped into the home internet market in a big way. T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon LTE Home Internet may have competitive pricing in your area.

Compare Prices and Terms

Even if you have limited internet options, there are still ways to save.

  • Start by searching for offers from competitors.
  • Call your existing provider to see if it can match the deal.

Make sure you have your latest bill handy so you know exactly what you’re paying and can identify a real deal.

Final Thoughts

The best internet service provider in your area may vary depending on what’s available. Start by exploring all of your options and comparing the plan prices and terms.

In regards to overall customer satisfaction, ACSI found that AT&T, CenturyLink and Google came out on top for fiber internet providers. In the non-fiber internet category, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sparklight (Cable One) earned the highest ACSI scores. 

Fixed wireless internet is another type of connection worth considering. J.D. Power found that fixed wireless customers were consistently more satisfied with their service compared to fiberoptic and cable internet customers. Specifically, customers noted a significant difference in satisfaction with the cost of their internet service.

To learn more about fixed wireless service plans, check out our full guide here.

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